Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Existential Crisis

Photo by Jason Kamimura
This is a team building year for the Snappers.  We're finally acting like adults in our personal lives, taking care of some debt we accrued in college and for our first few years in Los Angeles.  This means we're working smarter and wasting less time and effort than we did during my first two years in burlesque.  Less one-off numbers, less buying costume supplies without a shopping list and winding up with too much, less last-minute ideas for theme shows.  Being fiscally responsible also means less travel, less festivals, less touring.

I've been working on acts in my self-imposed time in my city.  I have a project list on my wall so I can focus on things.  I've been learning new sewing and hairstyling techniques.  I'm using up leftover fabric and staying busy by making garments here and there.  I'm researching and planning for future acts.  I have to stay busy so I don't lose my mind and so I become a better performer.

My mind rarely shuts off.  I'm constantly thinking about how to be more innovative, how to improve some aspect of performance, how to entertain the audience even more.  I read when I can't sew.  Right now I'm reading Do More Great Work, a book that has "maps" (worksheets) to figure out different aspects of how to do great work.  In the swirling thoughts of my mind, I was trying to figure out how to know more, do more, be more as an entertainer.  (Sometimes I get stuck thinking instead of actually working on things.  It's one of my weaknesses.  This is how I go through an existential crisis.)  The maps are helping.  They help me organize my thinking into something useful, making it so I can put those thoughts into action.  I find things to do so I can work at the top of my game, so I can do great work.

I know some of my readers have to deal with their own existential crises as performers and as people.  That's all part of growing up.  It's important not to get too stuck in the crisis.  You have to keep moving.  Get busy.  Organize your thoughts.  Try to work at your best as much as possible, and fake it when you're just not feeling it.  Take the team building time that's been handed to you and use it to yield the greatest output.

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